how to teach spellingSpelling is tough no matter how old you are.  Just because you have graduated from high school and gone on to earn a professional degree does not necessarily mean that spelling is going to come easy to you.  Often times there is just that one word that you have to spell-check or erase a few times before you can get it right.  So how do you teach spelling to someone who is learning English as a second language, or looking to brush up on their spelling skills?  Before you get out a thesaurus or a dictionary and go through each word one by one, we are going to give you some tips and tricks on how to teach spelling to get a firm grasp on some of those silly silent vowels, confusing consonants, and pesky pronunciations!

Basic Rules of Spelling

Before you start teaching actually word by word spelling, you should first go over the basic spelling rules that anyone should know.  These are going to be great to go back and reference if there is any confusion and are helpful memory aids.

“I” before “E”:  The “I” before “E” except after “C” rule is vital to remember.  The letter “I” should always be before the letter “E”, even when they are side-by-side in a world.  However, if either of these letters appears after the letter “C”, then “E” should come before “I”.  For instance, “receive”.

Double Vowels:  All languages include vowels, and in English, you can find yourself coming across words that contain two vowels right besides each other.  If you are new to English, this might look strange, and it can be hard to determine which one comes first.  However, there are some helpful tricks that can help you remember which one to put first:

Piggybacks:  Piggybacks are known as pairs of consonants that are pronounced where one is silent.  This can make spelling difficult, so it is important that whoever you are teaching look out for these piggy backers.  Here are some examples of piggyback pairs to remember:

Pluralizing Nouns:  This can be tricky, so we are going to go over a few helpful ways that you can teach someone how to pluralize nouns correctly.  Firstly, it is important to pay attention to the last letters in the word.  Once you are aware of the last letters, you can follow these common rules:

how to teach spelling

How to Practice Spelling

Now that you have the rules down to teach, here are some helpful tips for helping someone put these spelling rules into practice.

Break it down:  Break your words down into syllables, smaller words, and smaller parts.  Once they are broken down, look for words within words.  For example, “together” can be broken down into “to” “get” and “her”.  Also, consider learning prefixes and suffixes.  This can also help improve your spelling.

Sound it out:  Sound out words can also help you figure out how to spell them.  However, make sure to pronounce the word correctly as well.  With that in mind, simply reading out words that you do not know how to spell can be helpful towards the overall spelling process.  Make sure that syllables are pronounced correctly or you might miss something as small as an “e” in the middle, for instance, the word “interesting”.

Mnemonics:  Memory aids or mnemonics are a great and fun way to help someone learn how to spell.  You can try different things, such as:

Classics:  As always, there are the classic ways of studying to memorize the spelling of words.

Spell Yourself Silly!

As with anything else, the more you practice, the easier spelling will become for you. has some helpful and convenient courses for some helpful tips and tricks towards getting your letters in the right place.  Time to put those letters in their correct spots!

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